This column is part of Advice Week, Slate’s celebration of all things advice.
So this week, our columnists have swapped fields of expertise. In this edition, Michelle Herman, a Care and Feeding columnist, handles your sex and relationship questions.
Dear How to Do It,
I have been seeing someone for six months who I have very strong feelings for. He is just what I want in a man, and I can see having a long-term future with him because we are compatible in all of the most important ways, except maybe for one, which is why I am writing. He is a 53-year-old man and I am a 40-year-old woman. He gives the best oral sex I’ve ever had in my life and loves doing it. He is the only man I’ve ever been with who has able to bring me to orgasm with his fingers only. His size and girth leave nothing to be desired, I also love giving him oral sex, and I love when we have penetrative sex just as much as all of the other things we do. However, he sometimes has trouble maintaining an erection during foreplay and doesn’t last that long during the main event.
I love sex. I always have. I actually love our sex life, and if things stayed the way they are now, I’d definitely be satisfied long-term. However, I’ve never dated (or even hooked up with) someone this much older, and I’m at the point in my life where I want to find a life partner (we’ve both already been married, had kids, and divorced; neither one of us is looking to do any of that again, but I do want a long term-partner and so does he). My question: Is it realistic to think that I can be sexually satisfied long-term with someone whose libido is most definitely going to decline much faster than my own? Are the erectile issues only going to get worse? I can feel myself falling in love with this man, but can we really have a future if we end up sexually incompatible a few years down the road?
—Great for Now, But How Long?
Dear Great for Now,
I don’t know that his libido is going to decline much faster than yours. The erectile issues may get to be more of a problem, but there’s an effective medication for that, and your boyfriend’s interest in sex overall will not necessarily decline in the least. You say you’re happy with the sex life the two of you have now. I see no reason it can’t continue apace. (But I feel I should warn you that your own enthusiasm about sex may change post-menopausally. It doesn’t for every woman—I know some women in their 60s and 70s who are still pretty damn enthusiastic—but it certainly does for many.) So, 10 or 15—or 20 or 30—years down the road, things may be very different between you and your partner. But for now, I give you my blessing. You’re in love! You’re compatible! Why wouldn’t you have a future?
More Advice From Slate
I found myself recently in a position where a man who I know has a girlfriend (I am also female) propositioned me for sex. I am very attracted to him, and I feel like I wouldn’t have much guilt if I slept with him. At this point I am looking just for sex, not a relationship, and this one-time tryst would be just sex. Obviously, I know that cheating happens, and I know that sleeping with him would not be a wise decision morally for either of us. But I can’t get him out of my head. Is there something wrong with me because I don’t think I would feel that much guilt? Shouldn’t I feel worse about this? How responsible am I for someone else’s relationship?